skip to main content

Title: MESA Models with Magnetic Braking

Two magnetic braking models are implemented inMESAfor use in theMISTstellar model grids. Stars less than about 1.3 solar masses are observed to spin down over time through interaction with their magnetized stellar winds (i.e., magnetic braking). This is the basis for gyrochronology and is fundamental to the evolution of lower-mass stars. The detailed physics behind magnetic braking are uncertain, as are 1D stellar evolution models. Thus, we calibrate our models and compare to data from open clusters. Each braking model tested here is capable of reproducing aspects of the data, with important distinctions; neither fully accounts for the observations. The Matt et al. prescription matches the slowly rotating stars observed in open clusters but tends to overestimate the presence of rapidly rotating stars. The Garraffo et al. prescription often produces too much angular momentum loss to accurately match the observed slow sequence for lower-mass stars but reproduces the bimodal nature of slowly and rapidly rotating stars observed in open clusters fairly well. Our models additionally do not reproduce the observed solar lithium depletion, corroborating previous findings that effects other than rotation may be important. We find additional evidence that some level of mass dependency may be missing in these more » braking models to match the rotation periods observed in clusters older than 1 Gyr better.

« less
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 65
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. During the first half of main-sequence lifetimes, the evolution of rotation and magnetic activity in solar-type stars appears to be strongly coupled. Recent observations suggest that rotation rates evolve much more slowly beyond middle-age, while stellar activity continues to decline. We aim to characterize this mid-life transition by combining archival stellar activity data from the Mount Wilson Observatory with asteroseismology from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). For two stars on opposite sides of the transition (88 Leo and ρ CrB), we independently assess the mean activity levels and rotation periods previously reported in the literature. For the less active star (ρ CrB), we detect solar-like oscillations from TESS photometry, and we obtain precise stellar properties from asteroseismic modeling. We derive updated X-ray luminosities for both stars to estimate their mass-loss rates, and we use previously published constraints on magnetic morphology to model the evolutionary change in magnetic braking torque. We then attempt to match the observations with rotational evolution models, assuming either standard spin-down or weakened magnetic braking. We conclude that the asteroseismic age of ρ CrB is consistent with the expected evolution of its mean activity level, and that weakened braking models can more readily explain its relativelymore »fast rotation rate. Future spectropolarimetric observations across a range of spectral types promise to further characterize the shift in magnetic morphology that apparently drives this mid-life transition in solar-type stars.« less

    Magnetic fields can drastically change predictions of evolutionary models of massive stars via mass-loss quenching, magnetic braking, and efficient angular momentum transport, which we aim to quantify in this work. We use the mesa software instrument to compute an extensive main-sequence grid of stellar structure and evolution models, as well as isochrones, accounting for the effects attributed to a surface fossil magnetic field. The grid is densely populated in initial mass (3–60 M⊙), surface equatorial magnetic field strength (0–50 kG), and metallicity (representative of the Solar neighbourhood and the Magellanic Clouds). We use two magnetic braking and two chemical mixing schemes and compare the model predictions for slowly rotating, nitrogen-enriched (‘Group 2’) stars with observations in the Large Magellanic Cloud. We quantify a range of initial field strengths that allow for producing Group 2 stars and find that typical values (up to a few kG) lead to solutions. Between the subgrids, we find notable departures in surface abundances and evolutionary paths. In our magnetic models, chemical mixing is always less efficient compared to non-magnetic models due to the rapid spin-down. We identify that quasi-chemically homogeneous main sequence evolution by efficient mixing could be prevented by fossil magnetic fields. We recommend comparing this gridmore »of evolutionary models with spectropolarimetric and spectroscopic observations with the goals of (i) revisiting the derived stellar parameters of known magnetic stars, and (ii) observationally constraining the uncertain magnetic braking and chemical mixing schemes.

    « less
  3. Abstract Accurate stellar ages are essential for our understanding of the star formation history of the Milky Way and Galactic chemical evolution, as well as to constrain exoplanet formation models. Gyrochronology, a relationship between stellar rotation and age, appears to offer a reliable age indicator for main-sequence (MS) stars over the mass range of approximately 0.6–1.3 M ⊙ . Those stars lose their angular momentum due to magnetic braking and as a result their rotation speeds decrease with age. Although current gyrochronology relations have been fairly well tested for young MS stars with masses greater than 1 M ⊙ , primarily in young open clusters, insufficient tests exist for older and lower mass MS stars. Binary stars offer the potential to expand and fill in the range of ages and metallicity over which gyrochronology can be empirically tested. In this paper, we demonstrate a Monte Carlo approach to evaluate gyrochronology models using binary stars. As examples, we used five previously published wide binary pairs. We also demonstrate a Monte Carlo approach to assess the precision and accuracy of ages derived from each gyrochronology model. For the traditional Skumanich models, the age uncertainties are σ age /age = 15%–20% for starsmore »with B − V = 0.65 and σ age /age = 5%–10% for stars with B − V = 1.5 and rotation period P ≤ 20 days.« less
  4. ABSTRACT The time evolution of angular momentum and surface rotation of massive stars are strongly influenced by fossil magnetic fields via magnetic braking. We present a new module containing a simple, comprehensive implementation of such a field at the surface of a massive star within the Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (mesa) software instrument. We test two limiting scenarios for magnetic braking: distributing the angular momentum loss throughout the star in the first case, and restricting the angular momentum loss to a surface reservoir in the second case. We perform a systematic investigation of the rotational evolution using a grid of OB star models with surface magnetic fields (M⋆ = 5–60 M⊙, Ω/Ωcrit = 0.2–1.0, Bp = 1–20 kG). We then employ a representative grid of B-type star models (M⋆ = 5, 10, 15 M⊙, Ω/Ωcrit = 0.2, 0.5, 0.8, Bp = 1, 3, 10, 30 kG) to compare to the results of a recent self-consistent analysis of the sample of known magnetic B-type stars. We infer that magnetic massive stars arrive at the zero-age main sequence (ZAMS) with a range of rotation rates, rather than with one common value. In particular, some stars are required to have close-to-critical rotation at the ZAMS. However, magnetic braking yields surface rotationmore »rates converging to a common low value, making it difficult to infer the initial rotation rates of evolved, slowly rotating stars.« less

    Magnetic confinement of stellar winds leads to the formation of magnetospheres, which can be sculpted into centrifugal magnetospheres (CMs) by rotational support of the corotating plasma. The conditions required for the CMs of magnetic early B-type stars to yield detectable emission in H α – the principal diagnostic of these structures – are poorly constrained. A key reason is that no detailed study of the magnetic and rotational evolution of this population has yet been performed. Using newly determined rotational periods, modern magnetic measurements, and atmospheric parameters determined via spectroscopic modelling, we have derived fundamental parameters, dipolar oblique rotator models, and magnetospheric parameters for 56 early B-type stars. Comparison to magnetic A- and O-type stars shows that the range of surface magnetic field strength is essentially constant with stellar mass, but that the unsigned surface magnetic flux increases with mass. Both the surface magnetic dipole strength and the total magnetic flux decrease with stellar age, with the rate of flux decay apparently increasing with stellar mass. We find tentative evidence that multipolar magnetic fields may decay more rapidly than dipoles. Rotational periods increase with stellar age, as expected for a magnetic braking scenario. Without exception, all stars with H α emissionmore »originating in a CM are (1) rapid rotators, (2) strongly magnetic, and (3) young, with the latter property consistent with the observation that magnetic fields and rotation both decrease over time.

    « less